When your addict is in active addiction you become very guarded. For me, I was terrified of anyone discovering my secret life of perpetual fear. As my husband continued deeper into his love for drugs I stopped exposing him to “normal” people. At the same time, the “normal” people stopped inviting us out. Double dates and parties became a thing of the past.
Consequently, my world shrunk smaller and smaller. At one point I was down to a handful of friends. These people would badger me to hang out with them. For me this was torture. I had nothing to say to them. Every aspect of my life was falling apart.
Finally, my best friend called me and ripped me a new one, as only best friends can. There was crying and yelling and long uncomfortable silences. By the end I was thankful for the conversation but, I knew something had to change.
Throughout our talk I blamed my addict for all my unhappiness. Drugs were running my life and I didn’t even get to enjoy the high. As I hung up the phone I realized it was not just my addict who needed change. I had lost site of myself. Emotionally beat down I resigned to make my own lifestyle change.
Trust: So easily given, so quickly taken away, so difficult to regain.
Part of my husband’s treatment included a seminar for those who support their addict’s recovery. We were to learn how to cope with our addicts when they came home from rehab. These weekend classes were a key factor I took into consideration when searching for a treatment center. Our sisters, my mother-in-law and her sister attended them with me. Both my husband and I come from super supportive families. Obviously, this helps but, ultimately it’s up to the addict to stay clean.
All the councilors told us to give our addicts time. To allow the trust to build back and the reward would become one of the best relationships ever experienced. They were right.
The exact moment I knew we had more trust than ever before was more recent than I would like to admit. Sitting in the audience with my mom and his sponsor, listening to my husband tell his story on his 5 year clean date it dawned on me. I thought, “wow, it took a moment for me to fall in love with him and just a short time of terrible incidences for me to distrust him.”
I try not to think of our bad times because resentments are exhausting and I cannot change the past.
“Over the years we believed in our partnership. Now look at us, eight-plus years from when we met and we are better than ever. Finally, we have the trust we lost.”
I’m talking about real trust not the superficial,” he knows how I like my coffee,” kind of trust. I’m talking about,” baby making trust,” with heart and soul. Knowing we have become the team we always knew we could be.
This is what they call happiness. Being the best person you can with the one you trust the most. We made it!
A principle philosophy of supporting addicts in recovery is to only judge yourself and the actions you choose. While we love our addicts we cannot control their choices. Passing judgment on their decisions can quickly become a resentment towards them.
Aside from my addict one of my most beloved objects of affection is coffee. My love for coffee started at a young age on a visit to London. The food was terrible. So I stuck to liquids. Coffee or beer? I chose coffee. I’ve always preferred uppers to downers, you can get more done with them.
Everyone judges, it’s in our nature. I choose to judge coffee. I judge every coffee spot I walk into. My order is a large house drip. I wait for it to cool, sip & judge.
In a way we are all just tall black coffees waiting to cool so someone else can drink from us & judge. They may add a bit of personal essence. Blending together we make a fantastic flavor.
Maybe it’s not judging the coffee spots & their house drips I find appealing? Maybe it’s the ritual? Finding a coffee spot, ordering a cup while appreciating the city walk by.L.K. Brown
I heard the term,”co-dependent,” for the first time in college. I had to take these therapy classes as a punishment for throwing a raging keg’er in my dorm suite. The councilor gave me a book entitled something like,”Co-Dependent No More.” Aware I had no intention of opening the book she took the sessions as an opportunity to explain it. Yuck! It was like taking another class.
Slowly I started to see the pattern we were discussing emerge in a good friendship I had at the time.
We had never experienced a single romantic moment. He & I had been friends since Jr. High & here we were in college together.
The first time I thought I might be,”Co-dependent,”of him was when I scolded him for taking my laundry quarters. He would reply,”Come on Kid you can get change at the mat. Anyway, you’ll really like what I’m picking up.” The thing was, I rarely saw what he was picking up.
I would give him anything; food, money, anything. He was one of me closest friends. Consequently, he would always praise me for being the best friend ever. We would have the most fun hanging out and listening to music. I just gave him anything without question, I mean it was Bradley.
So we continued to be friends for years. I developed more co-dependent relationships based on the closeness Bradley & I held. My dependency was never his fault, he was just being,”Bradley.” And I was just being,”Me.”
By the time I met my husband I had trained myself to be an addict’s,”Dream Wife.”
Flying is a part of life. We just do it and are thankful for every safe take off and landing.
It was a flight to Phoenix, AZ when I realized the depths of my husband’s fear. He was still heavy into his addiction at the time. Quickly making friends on the plane they drank their worries away as we crossed state lines.
Now is a good time to mention most people adore my husband. He is a man’s man, big and authoritative. The guy’s got a million dollar smile and in nine years I’ve only witnessed one woman he couldn’t charm.
As his worry diminished mine grew. In my adult life I had never been to this airport. How was I to get him off the plane, find our luggage and the pick-up line without him getting cited for being drunk and disorderly? At this point though, I didn’t care if he spent the whole weekend in jail. However, I considered the fines. And then there was his temper. For now though, he was happy, he had new friends and a raging buzz. The plane landed and we all stumbled out.
Taking our places around baggage claim I saw him remove his jaunty hat and place it across his heart. For a fleeing moment I thought he was having a heart attack. Then in his beautiful voice full of depth and range he belted out the national anthem.
People followed suit taking their hats off as well. We all stared at the non moving baggage carousel. In the end everyone applauded. I can only assume they were either just as drunk or they did not want to seem unpatriotic in an airport. When I asked him why? He pulled me in close, kissed my forehead and simply said,”Baby you always got to thank God for a safe flight.”
Someone, somewhere once stated,” you must endure the lows in order to appreciate the highs.”
The connection between an addict and their co-dependent is all consuming. If allowed to run wild can become extremely destructive. In some ways as a co-dependent we are addicted to our addicts. They control our moods and behaviors. For me I called it love. Love was a veil I wore so nobody could see the pieces of me falling apart.
I was so young.
I believed,”love will get us through.”
I thought the hard stuff was behind us.
I was so naive.
Never knowing you would break my heart.
Never knowing I could break yours.
Never knowing heartbreak would save us.
Today, I am stronger.
Today, I proclaim my love for you knowing full well how much it could destroy me.
Today, I have achieved an understanding of addiction.
For my beloved,
On this day seven years ago we vowed our love,
In sickness and health,
For richer or poorer,
I will never love another the way I love you.
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Tagged 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, Addiction, Co-Dependency, Recovery, Sobriety